Topic: E risk case studies
June 19, 2019 / By Allyn Question:
I've read pretty much everywhere that it's not really "safe" to take wile breastfeeding. This is fine, but my face has erupted into a shingle-type rash thanks to...something unknown to me. It itches like crazy, and looks terrible. If I can't take Benadryl or use Benadryl cream, (which is fine.. I don't want to harm my baby by any means), does anyone know of an alternative that would be safe, either medicinal or homeopathic? Thank you!
Teri | 1 day ago
The safest antihistamines are Loratadine (Claritin) or Triprolidine (Actidil, Actifed).
Most skin creams are safe, and benadryl cream or caladryl are pretty safe for breastfeeding because so little is absorbed.
There are two problems with antihistamines during breastfeeding, one is that they may cause sedation in the baby the second is that it can reduce supply both are more of a problem if you are taking it over a period of time rather than just once in awhile.
You might want to try a steroid cream, that's what works for me for my face when I get an itchy allergic rash. Baking soda or oatmeal in water can help too (obviously clean it off before going in public ;-) ). Its also useful to visit a doctor just in case there is something specific they recommend for the rash
Antihistamines [more] [contents]
Dexbrompheniramine maleate with d-isoephedrine - Approved - NR
Fexofenadine Allegra Approved C L2
Loratadine Claritin Approved B L1
Terfenadine Seldane Approved - NR
Triprolidine Actidil, Actifed Approved C L1
Mom's use of Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton are generally regarded to be compatible with breastfeeding, but always double-check the active ingredients. Monitor your infant for possible drowsiness if you use an antihistamine. The non-sedating antihistamines (below) are generally preferred and are less likely to sedate baby.
The ingredients of Claritin, Claritin-D, Allegra, Allegra-D, Actifed (the decongestant pseudoephedrine plus triprolidine) and Seldane have been approved by the AAP for use by nursing moms. Loratadine (Claritin) has been studied and the amount of loratadine that passes into breastmilk is extremely low. Claritin-D and Allegra-D have pseudoephedrine added (which is AAP approved, but see above about possible effect on milk supply). Dr. Hale has said that he prefers the nonsedating antihistamines (even though they are long-acting) over the sedating allergy medications.
Zyrtec is also generally considered to be compatible with breastfeeding. It is commonly used by nursing moms, although its levels in milk are not known. Hale rates Zyrtec in the lactation risk catagory L2 (safer).
Clarinex (desloratadine): Desloratadine is another name for descarboethoxyloratadine, which is the main metabolite (breakdown product) of Claritin (loratadine). Per one study (Hilbert J, Radwanski E, Affrime MB et al. Excretion of loratadine in human breast milk. J Clin Pharmacol.1988:28:234-9), 0.019% of the descarboethoxyloratadine was transferred into breastmilk. Since Claritin (and thus its active metabolites, too) is considered safe for nursing moms (it's AAP approved, in fact), Clarinex should not be a problem either.
Milk supply: A common concern is that antihistamines might lower milk supply but, per Dr. Thomas Hale, there is no current research supporting this belief. If you feel that your supply has decreased, it could simply be a byproduct of decreased nursing frequency or dehydration due to your illness.
If you feel that a medication is the cause of a sudden drop in milk supply, then stop taking (or decrease your use of) the medication - if the med is indeed the cause, then supply should increase again soon after you stop taking it. When using an antihistamine, it can be helpful to step up your fluid intake quite a bit. As with any medication, take it only as needed, and discontinue use as soon as you can.
Summary of Use during Lactation:
Small, occasional doses of diphenhydramine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Larger doses or more prolonged use may cause effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before lactation is well established. Single bedtime doses after the last feeding of the day may be adequate for many women and will minimize any effects of the drug. The nonsedating antihistamines are preferred alternatives.
Alternate Drugs to Consider:
Desloratadine, Fexofenadine, Loratadine
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Is Benadryl safe while breastfeeding?
I've read pretty much everywhere that it's not really "safe" to take wile breastfeeding. This is fine, but my face has erupted into a shingle-type rash thanks to...something unknown to me. It itches like crazy, and looks terrible. If I can't take Benadryl or use Benadryl cream, (which is fine.....
Benadryl is a very safe OTC - I even took it while I was pregnant.
The reason they don't recommend it while you are breastfeeding is that it is an antihistamine which dries up your head...and your milk. From what the nurses told me at the hospital, you should be okay taking like one a day, but anymore than that *might* create issues with your milk production.
My docs always said it's totally fine to take benedryl while breastfeeding..so I always did, and my baby was never "drugged", she was totally normal and happyl.